Former main opposition CHP chair cancels meeting in Germany
ANKARAFormer main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair and current Antalya deputy Deniz Baykal has canceled his planned attendance at meetings in Germany, amid continued tension between Ankara and Berlin over the cancelation of Turkish ministers’ meetings.
The decision came after the cancelation of planned meetings in Germany attended by Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi, Doğan News Ageny has reported.
Baykal announced that he would not be attending the March 5 meeting, under the theme “No to the Constitutional Changes,” in Germany’s Filderstadt province.
The CHP’s press and social media representative in Germany, Hayri Çiçekdağı, confirmed the decision on March 4, saying that Baykal believed attending the meeting after the cancellation of the ministers’ meetings could be used as an “instrument in domestic politics.”
“We as the CHP do not approve the barring of members of the [ruling Justice and Development Party] Ak Parti in Germany, or the barring of us in Turkey,” Çiçekdağı said.
On March 2, the municipality of Gaggenau in southwest Germany revoked its permission for Justice Minister Bozda’s meeting, citing concerns about overcrowding. This prompted Bozdağ to cancel his planned visit to Germany altogether.
Economy Minister Zeybekçi’s planned address on March 5 to the Turkish community in the western city of Cologne was also cancelled by the local authorities over “security concerns.”